? Beginning their third season this year, the Seaside Wildcats are part of a collegiate summer baseball program called the NW Collegiate League. The NWCL uses wood bats for a more traditional feel and sound. Coaches and managers use the league to develop young college players, and to give the various local teams a tournament structure in which to participate. The NWCL is an amateur league that acts as a testing ground where age does not matter so much as skill and a willingness to work hard.

One Seaside High School graduate, two Warrenton and two Astoria graduates will be a part of the Wildcats this summer. Ross Knutsen was one of Seaside High SchoolÂ’s best catchers and hitters. He will be catching and playing third base for the Wildcats this summer. Eric Gantenbein and Dan Wolfe from Warrenton will be teammates of Knutsen, as will Tom Jaworski and Brendan Landwehr of Astoria.

The Wildcats will begin their season June 14 on the road, with their home opener at Broadway Park, Monday, June 16. Over the course of the summer, the Wildcats will play a 43-45 game schedule that includes two tournaments at Broadway Park in a 24-26 game home schedule. The two tournaments, the Seaside Open July 11 &12 and the NWCL Championships, July 26 & 27, will both be four-team tournaments.

One objective of the NW Collegiate League is to develop quality baseball players that will give back to their communities some of the values they have learned as players who value competition and sportsmanship. The NWCL is governed by the same NCAA college rules as other collegiate teams.

The 2008 NWCL consists of eight teams: the Central Oregon Bucks, Olympia Athletics, Pacific Javelinas, Portland Titans, Seaside Wildcats, Tacoma Cardinals, Vancouver Showtime and Aloha Warriors. Team rosters consist of current college players from all levels: D1, D2, D3, NAIA and JC with players coming from colleges around the country, as well as locally.

Host families for players are needed in Seaside during the seven-week season. Call Nyssa Clark at (503) 470-0341 to learn more about hosting.

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